I need a hint for Faithful Companion

Big spoilers in my question –

[spoiler]After a few turns, I figured out the gimmick. The ghost repeats what I do after two turns. So on my third turn, the ghost is doing what I did on my first, and so on. Also, it seems that interacting directly with the ghost kills me, so I did figure out to immediately drop the key after unlocking the door (or at least after entering the next room).

But I’m stuck on the latches. Unless my brain just isn’t working along the right lines, or unless there’s a trick that involves some external force, I don’t even see how it’s possible. Given that “open” and “closed” are basically on/off bits, there’s no way to trick the ghost into keeping a latch open. I can trick him into opening it, sure, but you’re basically doubling every action. And anything doubled is an even number. So I’m just not seeing the answer.


What do you have in your inventory, again?

In IF, we often think of keys as only having one use. But really they have two.

Lock the damn ghost outside while you tinker with the latches.


For whatever reason, I assumed the ghost would just go through. It didn’t even occur to me to try. I don’t know how long I would have kept fiddling with the latches. Thanks!

It’s OK for me to talk about this, right? We aren’t operating under IFComp “author keeps his mouth shut” rules?

I don’t really know. I’ve said very little about mine just in case. I figured responding to a hint request would be okay, although it was already answered. :slight_smile:

I hope you’re planning on making a post-comp version. I liked it, but there were disambiguation problems I’d rather not deal with. I’ve uploaded a transcript just in case.
Faithful Companion transcript.zip (3.85 KB)

I just referred to things by type (bronze, steel, etc) and didn’t have the problem. I guess I’m just used to doing that.

For the most part, I did that too, but it was still rather aggravating to, say:

type UNLOCK DOOR and have the game think I meant the granite door, even though there’s only one door that uses a key.

Heh. Well, at least most authors seem to have avoided having a couple of rooms with exits that were mistakenly unlisted. I’ve been making notes of bugs in my super-short casual reviews, but it kind of feels the old pot/kettle adage.

Oy vey. Trust me, it was even more aggravating to try (and fail) to get the game to stop doing that.

If you look at the relevant section of the source code you will find several Does The Player Mean rules which just sit there and stare at you with their mouth open like a gawm when you want them to just DO THEIR JOB AND HAVE THE PLAYER UNLOCK THE RIGHT DOOR. Looking at it with fresh eyes I think the problem is that “in the reliquary” makes the rule it governs more specific than any of the other rules, though I still don’t see why the “it is very likely” rule doesn’t trump it. That’s speed-IF for you, I guess.

Anyway, I think I will try for a post-comp version; part of the point of the time limit was not to spend too much time polishing everything, but there are enough annoying little issues in the game that I think it’d be worth trying to knock some of them out.

ETA: In fact, oh dear

[spoiler]looking at your transcript makes me realize that the intended behavior of the game is already annoying enough. I feel especially bad about this:


It would be interesting to collect all the post-comp updates and kind of have a before-and-after set of downloads. For mine, I’m not really interested in extending it with more content, even though my original idea called for it. I’m just fixing stuff, to come up with a more polished version of the original game.

I just played this and I second your reaction 100%!

I know exactly how long I would have fiddled with the latches: no more time at all. I figured it was one of those Fugue-type puzzles, figured it wasn’t the sort of puzzle for me, that I wouldn’t enjoy finding the solution, so I quit.

Third. The ghost seems to materialize from inside at the beginning, before the door is unlocked.
I’m thankful for the hint-- I had given up, but the game’s now one of my favorites.

Hm, that wasn’t my intention.

[spoiler]The intention is that the ghost comes materializes among the leaves that are already on the bench. But that’s probably not at all apparent if you don’t examine the bench before taking the key.

The way the leaves move with the ghost might suggest that the leaves can’t go through a door without opening it, but again that’s not awfully clear. Food for thought for any post-comp update.

Of course none of this happened within any great deal of planning, it was all stuff I was typing frantically in order to make sure there were words everywhere there needed to be words while I tried to get the game in a winnable state within three hours.[/spoiler]

Thanks for the kind words!